The Dim-Post

February 18, 2012

Forgot about Hone

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 12:00 pm

Someone in the previous thread asked about the Mana Party. I don’t think it has much of a future. Harawira seems like he mostly appeals to younger Maori voters, who have the lowest turnout of any demographic in the country. The rest of the Maori vote is split between Labour and the Maori Party. Say Mana somehow captures all of the Maori Party’s list votes – that’s only an extra 30,000 votes, or about 1% of the total.

Mana also sees itself as a party that wants to appeal to a broader, working-class demographic – but Harawira is almost the worst choice possible to lead such a party. He’s always going to be distracted by identity politics issues. And I think most people understand that there’s little point in voting for a party that can never be part of the government.

I predict the Maori Party will continue to spend the next three years pretending to be outraged about various government policies, while Turia and Sharples draw handsome Ministerial salaries, dispense taxpayer funds to their clients and party donors through vehicles like Whanua Ora, and anticipate their dame/knighthoods once they retire. One or two Maori seats might continue as Peter Dunne-like sinecures, but the remnants will return to Labour in 2014.


  1. “Mana also sees itself as a party that wants to appeal to a broader, working-class demographic – but Harawira is almost the worst choice possible to lead such a party. He’s always going to be distracted by identity politics issues”

    Indeed. Harawira comes across as a personality cult, and his party would struggle to survive without him, despite Minto and Bradford being on board. The Alliance is stilll around, but it’s a spent force. The Greens have made a deliberate decision to go white-collar. The Maori Party is now basically the Brown Table Party.

    Comment by DeepRed — February 18, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

  2. It’s not true to say Māori only vote for Mana, Māori and Labour. The Greens and NZ First both got about 10% in the Māori electorates, and in the case of the Greens this is a huge increase. The Mana Party however only got about an average of 15% in the seats. That’s only 5 points difference. the decline of the Māori Party isn’t just helping Hone as commentators seem to be suggesting.

    Metiria Turei is seen as an inspirational leader. Winston is Winston, so he’s always an option. I think both Labour and Māori are in decline in the Māori seats, I mean Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson is a Back Bencher, the Green’s spokesperson is number 1 on their list and co-leader.

    Comment by Jack McDonald — February 18, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

  3. A major problem with wanting to be working class party in a western democracy is that basically the working classes are shrinking and those that are left either aspire to be middle class or already consider themselves middle class.

    Comment by stephen — February 18, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

  4. You seem to write as if Labour is the one true home of the Maori voter. Maybe Labour is. There has definitely been some stiffer competition from Labour in particular Maori electorates (Te Tai Tonga, Te Tai Tokerau) but thinking of the larger picture – how does the M-electorate see the performance of Labour? When was the last time Labour actually delivered something that could be called a Win for these voters?

    Taking a look at the 4th Labour government:
    Take “Closing the Gaps” – a flagship social policy of Labour under Clark in 1999; completely disowned and rejected.
    Take Labour’s Seabed and Foreshore – a knife stuck into the m-electorates so hard it led to the creation of the Maori Party
    Take the stagnant wealth of lower income workers, and low skill workers.

    If I really had to think about it the last big juicy win Labour gave to Maori… it was to enable historical treaty claims, which were only massaged into life under that stellar Labour man Doug Graham. How many years ago was this now – 15-16??

    I think the Maori electorate have shown they will shop around for an alternative – NZ First in 1999, the Maori Party in 2004, Hone/Mana Party in 2010. Predicting that the rising tide will inevitable lift the ship of Labour isn’t necessarily true. The Maori electorates have got very good at asking “what have you done for me lately?”

    Comment by Oh Busby — February 18, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

  5. Oh – above link NSFW!! Noone should be surprised at Eddie Murphy from the ’80s, this aint your 2010s Eddie Murphy.

    Comment by Oh Busby — February 18, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

  6. @ Oh Busby – Labour’s last gift to Maori voters was the 1999 Income-Related Rents for state house tenants, followed a few years later by the Housing Accommodation Supplement. Primarily benefited Maori and Pacific people, who are over-represented in low income households and in state houses.

    IRR was a solid policy, but HAS is a total swindle – a theft of taxpayer funds by private landlords on the scale of theft proposed in SOE sales by English and Key. If Labour had borrowed to build more state houses at the time instead of the HAS, by now we would have better off tenants and no $1.3bn annual bleed to middle- and upper-class investor landlords.

    But all good – we all agree Hone doesn’t have the goods to be a major player 😉 No self-restraint 🙂

    Comment by bob — February 18, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

  7. @ Oh Busby – watch your distance language when addressing a body of people 🙂

    Comment by ORP — February 18, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

  8. I dunno. I think Hone’s getting mellower, and our perception is partly shaped by reporting. If there were stories in a couple of years about “the new Hone” and his developing qualities of statesmanship it honestly wouldn’t surprise me. People change and learn and the narrative composed by the news media also changes — it has to, or you would get bored with the news.

    Comment by Stephen Judd — February 18, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

  9. I think Hone surprised quite a few people with his performances in the debates leading into the previous election. I thought he’d be a divisive firebrand when he formed the Mana Party, but he seems to have grown nicely into a leadership position.
    If the Maori Party choose to stay in a coalition with the National Party, Hone’ll probably benefit from it, possibly gaining a seat at the expense of The Maori Party.

    Comment by Vagabundo — February 18, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

  10. bob, the accommodation supplement was introduced by National in 1991, alongside its removal of income related rents. Then IRR were reinstated by Labour when they got back in.

    Comment by bka — February 19, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

  11. Maybe you think Mana have no future because you can’t relate to them.

    Comment by Lissa — February 19, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

  12. think Lissa has you there

    I’m a middle aged, middle class whitey and would happliy vote for Hone if he was one of my electorate choices… but not Mana (at least not yet – they’ve a lot of work to do before they get my party vote) – Bradford I’d vote for too (she rocks) but not Minto (respect him and his views but wouldn’t want him in the house)

    Comment by shorts — February 20, 2012 @ 6:48 am

  13. I think Mana and NZF are equally unpredictable. I agree with Stephen Judd – Hone has mellowed, and could easily position as a moderate leader of a strongly leftist party. If he wants a big support jump, he won’t be targeting the Maori electorates exclusively, except for the electoral rep seats. The only one that *really* matters is his own one. So long as that is safe, a vote for Mana is not subject to the threshold. It’s entirely possible they could get a lot of Pakeha voting for them. His two next list candidates were Pakeha.

    The main problem is brand confusion with the Greens. If the two parties are smart, they would actually partition their targets – Mana gives the Greens a bit of room to capture more of the huge fat centrist vote. Reaching down to squeeze the Mana vote isn’t really to the advantage of the Greens. Not entirely sure on what dimensions the partition would go, though – the Mana position still isn’t totally clear to me. The only one that leaps out at me is rural vs urban.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — February 20, 2012 @ 10:04 am

  14. Hone has been working hard. He’s been attempting to provide a voice on most issues, and he’s been flying the Mana flag all over TV. The man certainly puts in the time. He has been leaving a footprint a hundred times bigger than a minister like Kate Wilkinson say. And the more he talks the more the more room the mana party message is finding within our national dialogue

    If anyone wants to try and track it down (my google-fu couldn’t find it on the dreadful 3 website) – the Jono Project on TV3 had a whole skit “Meet the Harawiras” about the pakeha protagonist attempting to date Hone’s daughter. Hone pulls off the angry sitcom-dad role pitch perfectly. It’s a clever and genuinely funny piece of meta-politics that and explores unravells Hone’s/our issues with race.

    Comment by Oh Busby — February 20, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

  15. “a clever and genuinely funny piece of meta-politics”


    Comment by merv — February 20, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

  16. Merv is not pleased.
    Situation normal.

    Comment by paritutu — February 20, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

  17. I’m late to the party, but when I read the title I was immediately taken back to the late-gangsta classic, Forgot about Dre. I can’t believe everyone missed it.

    Hated on by most these niggas
    With no cheese, no deals and no G’s, no wheels and no keys
    No boats, no snowmobiles and no skis.
    Mad at me cause
    I can finally afford to provide my family with groceries.

    Like Dre, Hone has lineage and staying power, and we’d be silly to discount such a presence. What I’m interested to know is whether the significant labour that turned out for his campaign can be repeated again. If he’s surging somewhat in the polls I could see it, but it might be difficult to sustain disappointed networks of volunteers.

    Comment by George D — February 20, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

  18. little point in voting for a party that can never be part of the government

    You could say that about ACT.

    What happens if it’s Nat+allies 60, Lab+Grn 60? Labour might need an extra seat, either that or enable a Nat government.

    Comment by Rich — February 20, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

  19. Wait – are you referencing “Forgot about Dre”? If so, that makes me laugh (actually I laughed in any case).

    Comment by swan — February 20, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

  20. Wait – are you referencing “Forgot about Dre”? If so, that makes me laugh (actually I laughed in any case).

    Which has now got Dre’s “The Watcher” stuck in my head – seems more applicable to Winston than Hone though (and points will be deducted for any obvious Shane Jones gags)

    Comment by Sam F — February 21, 2012 @ 8:54 am

  21. The fact of the matter is that there’s still a significant percentage of hard-core socialists/borderline communists in this country and this phenomenon is attracting our younger people who will be the voters of the future. Just look at the Occupy Movement.

    The people in the Occupy Movement and other similar fringe groups and so forth, have traditionally voted for the Green Party. However, now that the Green Party has gone “mainstream”, they are turning and will continue to turn to the Mana Party, which does not focus solely on “Maori rights” but also on housing for those in poverty, cheaper groceries and electricity, looking after the environment, a fairer tax system (what they see as fairer but does not necessarily gel together with my own personal views and opinions).

    The Green Party did well in 2011 because of the fact that not a lot of people wanted to vote for Labour because of its lack of vision and transition from the Clark era to what is now known as the Shearer era. However, because they (the Greens) are now in the same domain as Labour, and because Labour is thelarger party, the fact is that when Labour support climbs steadily in 2014, Green support drops.

    As a distinct party with its own personality, Mana’s support climbs in 2014. Those on the fringe do not want to vote for Labour and despise, for the most part, National. Think about what happened in 2011. It was a very conservative election year and yet support was tremedously high for Mana, when compared to the length of their tenure in politics so far, and the size of their party.

    Comment by Daniel Lang — February 21, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

  22. Yeah, Hone is too honest to be a politician. Politicians lie, saying one thing and doing another. They do deals behind closed doors and will say, do and sell anything to stay in power. Labour proved that in their last term and back in the good old days of Rogernomics. Hone is brutally honest, to his detriment isometimes
    But if Hone managed to watch what he says ( you can’t really call people motherfuckers and not expect a backlash) and became more media savvy he might get an increase in popularity. But do we want him to become more like mainstream politicians?’ Is that even possible?
    He shows it is possible to be ‘political’ without being a politician.
    I’ve admired Hone since his ‘Nga Tama Toa’ days and still do. I can’t vote for him. being from Wellys but do support him. I know we need people like him just to balance things out a bit. And to have what mainstream call a complete radical in such a position is healthy and makes things way more interesting.

    Comment by indiginz — February 26, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

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